One of my goals in posting these articles is to stimulate conversation around specific topics and build community with other thought leaders in change management.
There is not a lot we can do actually to manage change. It happens (sometimes planned, sometimes not). There are a myriad influences that determine how it unfolds, and many of them are not under our control. So Change Management is a bit of a misnomer. That is why I renamed our department at my former company Change Readiness and Sustainment.
We can help people prepare for a change if we can anticipate it and help sustain the new norm once change has occurred. But as noted in my article entitled “Leading in the Moment – What’s Needed Now?”, when we’re in the fray of implementation, we can only assess and respond to what’s happening in the moment and deploy the tools at our disposal to help our teams through it. In the midst of change, I often tell people, we cannot control what is happening or how others around us are reacting. The only thing we can control is how we, ourselves, are personally responding.
- Do we blame others?
- Are we disgruntled because we weren’t consulted beforehand?
- Are we playing victim to the situation?
- Are we helping our teams understand the benefits that will result from the near-term disruption?
- Are we taking personal responsibility to engage and influence how things end up?
- Are we leading through positive example?
- Are we being agile and open to the possibility of a new norm?
At the end of the day, I believe how we experience change is a matter of attitude and outlook. It can be energizing or disempowering. Engaging or frustrating.